Holiday stroll offers passport prizes; 15 businesses involved in 2nd annual event.
SPENCER - Last year, as she was planning the town's first Christmas Stroll, Carol S. McPherson said she hoped the event might become an annual tradition.
With the second stroll planned for Saturday, that seems likely, though she can't yet think about 2008.
"Never make a decision on a third when you're still planning the second," she said.
Much like last year's event, shoppers can pick up a "passport" at any of the 15 participating businesses, leaving it at their last stop. The passports are also available at Mary, Queen of the Rosary Church on Maple Street, First Congregational Church on Route 9, Cornerstone Community Church on North Spencer Road and Spencer United Methodist Church on Route 9.
The churches are hosting a variety of events, including bazaars and fairs. The Festival of Trees will take place at Cornerstone Baptist Church, and Christmas tree skirts will be sold at Spencer United Methodist Church.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Mrs. McPherson said the stroll is an important event for the churches because it helps raise money for various causes.
"We rely on it, I know that," she said of the United Methodist Church, where she is a member.
Shoppers who visit all of the participating locations and have their passport stamped are eligible to win attendance prizes including a Fontanini Nativity, Trappist preserves, a ladies' watch, a framed Jacob Knight print of Spencer, a Christmas tree, a cookie centerpiece, gift baskets and gift certificates. The prizes are donated by local businesses and the winners will be chosen in drawing televised live on the local cable access show "Talk of the Town" at 7 p.m. Dec. 3.
Based on last year's experience, Mrs. McPherson said most shoppers should anticipate spending about 3- 1/2 hours to visit each of the businesses and the four churches. She said the variety of shops should allow a person to fill most - or all - of their Christmas gift list and have a snack along the way.
Route 9 businesses participating this year are Spencer Flower and Gift Shop by Linda, Spencer Frameworks, Appleblossoms, Ooma's Cookie Jar, Cormier Jewelers, Klem's, Tidbits, Taggies, Finally Kelly's and Amy Yanover Photographic Art, all on Route 9.
Also participating are businesses along Route 31 - Bemis Farms Nursery, Oakwood Farms Christmas Barn, Primitive Thymes and St. Joseph's Abbey - and the Cafe at Five Loaves Bakery on Mechanic Street.
CUTLINE: Lyn Bouley, left, and Wendy Beauvais of Appleblossoms, at 150A Main St., hang a holiday Christmas tin, which will be one of the prizes awarded in Saturday's Christmas Stroll Around Spencer.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/DAN GOULD